My Dear Old Mum was always at her freest when she was in her beloved Donegal taking a walk through old Ireland.
And, of course, being a popular native of Ireland’s northernmost county she would be noticed even in the wilds of the Monian Road, Glenfin.
Mary Huoney (and forgive the spelling as I never did get to grips with all those fadas) revelled in spotting Mum skipping on the stony path.
It is the uninhibited nature of Donegal life which marks it out as special.
If you are lucky enough to have spent childhood days in the Irish valley of the River Finn you will have rich memories of…
Ned and his donkey, old Eddie (my grandpa) with the twinkling eye, the racing paper and the pipe filled with spearmint tobacco.
And Johnny and Cundie Nora and their horse and cart.
The best folk
You could (and should) experience it all on a four-night walking and hiking holiday in Donegal with TD Active Holidays.
Glencolmkille Folk Village will take you back to an Ireland of the history books and themed Irish pubs.
But this is not Oirish but authentic and worth walking through.
Mount Errigal rises like an ancient Celtic sentinel from the Finn Valley inviting you on to climb it.
Glenveagh National Park is 16,000 hectares of walking harmony with nature, the Derryveagh Mountains, the Poisoned Glen (intriguing) and Errigal.
And if it’s a range of cliffs you like then it’s the old pilgrims trek to Slieve League you’ll be wanting.
Reflect too on being at the very edge of Europe.
And imagine St Brendan the Navigator setting out to discover America.
TD active Holidays (that’s our pals Travel Department) is offering a four-day break, departing August 19, from €659pp.
With Donegal Town as your base..
You’ll get three guided walking days in Donegal with packed lunches thrown in.
Trust me you’ll be glad you’ve taken your walk through old Ireland.
And if you see an old Irish woman skipping along the road tell her I say: ‘Hi’.